With some Singapore Sunday race meetings currently coinciding with Malaysia and Hong Kong race meetings, it has resulted in occasional race schedules and starting times starting too close with one another and sometimes at almost the same time.
As races from these three venues are popular with Singapore customers and to mitigate the issue, the Singapore Turf Club has decided to move more of its weekend race meetings to Saturday next year. These Singapore Saturday meetings will be run as day meetings, except for the Kranji Mile race meeting on May 23 (Saturday) which will remain as a twilight meeting.
While Friday night meetings remain unaltered, the Singapore Turf Club will maintain 13 racing-free weekends (no Singapore racing on either Saturday or Sunday) – once monthly on average – to allow industry participants more family and recreational time.
Hence, the 2020 Singapore racing calendar will consist of 83 race meetings with 46 held on Friday (including three Public Holidays: Good Friday, Labour Day and Hari Raya Haji), 25 on Saturday, 11 on Sunday (including one on Chinese New Year) and one on Wednesday, the New Year Cup meeting.
Another significant change is the moving of the time slot for the Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge from June-July to February-April, with the main aim of creating a more attractive sequence of feature races for better quality horses.
As it is, if a horse was to run in the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge and compete in the Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge in the next season, the waiting time is 13 months. By bringing the Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge forward by four months and shifting the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge to a later slot by two months, the gap is effectively reduced by six months i.e from 13 months to seven months.
The new sequence will give good quality young horses more opportunities to win top prizemonies within a shorter timeframe, hence making it more attractive for owners to invest in top quality young horses for Singapore racing.